On New Year’s Day, my friend John and I took a trip down across the border into Victoria, to visit the Princess Margaret Rose Caves, near Nelson. I LOVE caves, and this one had been on my to-do list for some time. It is possible to take a cruise from Nelson along the Glenelg River to the Caves, however on this day it was raining, and we decided to drive direct to the caves instead. Yes, the caves are named after the English Princess…..
The original entrance was a 17metre vertical shaft, and the first explorer, a very brave man, was lowered via a rope by his friend and with only a faint lamp, he went off exploring for the next two hours, leaving his mate on the surface, wondering just what was happening! That was in 1936.
These formations don’t take place overnight – less than 10cm every thousand years. And like tree rings, they are a way to look into the past – but in a way even better than tree rings.
If you look closely, you can see tree roots making their way to the floor of the cave. These roots have been traced back to the tree on the surface, and that tree has been highlighted with a sign. It is many metres above. Never underestimate the power of trees :-)
All too soon, it was time to go back up, and up, those steps – I joked with my friend that he had to keep talking while climbing the stairs, to show how fit he was, but he declined – and I wasn’t about to argue :-) Access is generally quite good, but do be prepared for the steps as they are not for the fainthearted or weak-kneed. I didn’t get the same sense of being underground, as I did at the Naracoorte Caves, which have that wonderful cave atmosphere, although once the lights are switched off by the guide, you most certainly realise just how very very dark it gets down there.
Back up on the surface, we did a quick check on where the cruise boat mooring is, but alas, we’d missed the boat :-)
There is also a campground nearby, and I was interested to check it out for a possible future camping trip.
All in all, this area has much to offer the visitor whether it be for a day visit or a longer trip. Did I mention the fishing? :-) Yep, there’s plenty of that too!